Fred. Olsen – In Search Of The Northern Lights – 2022
Sails from Newcastle
Unearthing an abundance of Arctic attractions will ensure you’re sure to be captivated from start to finish on this very special, shorter-than-usual escape to Northern Norway aboard Balmoral. You’ll discover the sights and highlights of three destinations, and go in search of the spectacular Northern Lights.
Made possible by departing from Dover, you’re presented with an opportunity to step ashore amongst Northern Norway’s wintery landscapes just two days after settling sail. The Arctic landscapes surrounding Alta and Tromsø are considered some one of the best places on earth to see Aurora Borealis, and with luck on your side, you may be fortunate enough to see Mother Nature’s remarkable light show illuminate the clear night sky with dancing ribbons of colour. Overnight stays in Alta and Tromsø allow time to get a feel for authentic Arctic life too; you could go husky sledding into the wilderness, and even mush your own team of dogs; spend time with, and learn about, Sami communities; and freshwater fish on a frozen lake.
You’ll also visit Narvik, where once again the surrounding mountainous landscapes are best explored via a traditional husky-led sled. From this picturesque town, you could opt for a tour to the Polar Park, home to native wildlife including bears, lynx and wolves, too. Elsewhere, en route to and from Arctic Norway, there’s time in Molde, starting point for tours on the Rauma Railway and along the famous Atlantic Road, and in Ålesund to admire the town’s art-nouveau architecture and take in the panoramas from atop Mount Aksla. On board smaller ship Balmoral, you’re in for memorable scenic cruising experiences too; capture the beauty of Naeroysundet’s narrow, mountain-flanked waters and see Torghatten ‘mountain with the hole’ and the Seven Sisters in all their natural splendour.
Friday 04 November 2022
Friday 04 November
Departure from Dover, United Kingdom
Board the ship mid-afternoon before you set sail later that evening.
05 - 06 November
Enjoy 2 days of cruising.
Monday 07 November
Ålesund is Norway’s popular, art-nouveau epic of towers and turrets, ornaments and balconies, steeples and spires. The city’s delightful pedestrianised streets, offer a diverse mix of art galleries, shops and lively cafés, and lead to the 418 steps that climb Mount Aksla. The Fjellstua restaurant and café at the summit is the perfect place to sit and soak up panoramic views of this attractive city, the archipelago, and the Sunnmore Alps.
Tuesday 08 November
Cruising Rørvik, Torghatten, Seven Sisters Mountain and Arctic Circle Norway
Rørvik is a picturesque island village located on the eastern part of the Vikna archipelago, in Nord-Trøndelag county, Norway. This pretty village serves as the administrative centre for the municipality and has a population of approximately 3,000 inhabitants.
A scenic cruise along the shores of Toget Island allows you see one of Norway’s most astonishing natural wonders – Torghatten Mountain. The mountain is known affectionately as ‘the mountain with the hole’.
Then, we pass the majestic chain of peaks overlooking the shipping channel, the Seven Sister mountain range is an awe-inspiring backdrop to the myriad of islands and Norwegian landscapes.
Then lastly, crossing the Arctic Circle takes you into the lands of prolonged days and midnight sun. It is visible on a map – north of which the sun can be seen above the horizon even at midnight during the summer months. However, during the winter the sun stays below the horizon for most of the day.
Wednesday 09 November
Founded in 1903, Narvik is a relatively new city but still offers a fascinating history. Located north of the Arctic Circle, the city’s harbour is surprisingly ice-free, however, there are still a number of stunning Arctic sights to see, including the Narvikfjellet Mountain.
Although over 400km north of the Arctic Circle, Narvik’s harbour is ice-free and in use all year as a port for iron ore exports. Although inhabited since prehistoric times, the town was not established until 1903 when the Ofoten Railway wascompleted. The line is a tourist attraction in itself, running 42km through magnificent scenery to the Swedish border. A cable car ride from the centre of town to the viewpoint on the Narvikfjellet Mountain gives fabulous views over the Ofotfjord and surrounding area.
Close to the town centre is the Ofoten Museum, with displays of local history including 5,000-year-old rock carvings. The Nordland Red Cross War Memorial Museum commemorates the occupation of Narvik in the Second World War. Narvik Church is a fine example of Scandinavian architecture, with a painted altar piece by Eilif Pettersen, while the northernmost animal park, Polar Park, is worth a look.
10 - 11 November
As one of the best places on earth to witness the Northern Lights in winter, and experience the sensation of the Midnight Sun in summer, Alta is a truly magical destination. Originally inhabited by the indigenous Sami people, the area has a fascinating cultural history. Rock carvings in nearby Hjemmeluft are believed to date from around 4,200 to 500 BC. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the carvings on display in the Alta Museum are evidence of the existence of human activity in the far north during prehistoric times. You will have plenty of time to explore here as you will stop for an overnight.
12 - 13 November
The island city of Tromsø is one of northern Norway’s true delights. Rich with neo-classical architecture, the city known as the ‘Gateway to the Arctic’ contains the largest number of wooden houses in Northern Norway, and its old world charm makes it a joy to explore.
A major cultural hub above the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is famed as a viewing point for the colourful Northern Lights that often light up the night sky. The city’s most recognisable landmark is the must-visit Arctic Cathedral. Built in 1965, the cathedral’s distinctive iceberg-shaped design was inspired by the landscapes of Northern Norway and features a beautiful glass mosaic.
The many museums and galleries in the city include the Perspektivet Museum – set in a neo-classical building built in 1838 that has exhibits from Tromsø’s past, plus the Art Museum of Northern Norway and the Mack Brewery. Tromsø is also home to Polaria, an Arctic aquarium that is popular with locals and tourists alike. The aquarium’s tanks are full of Arctic fish species, and the friendly bearded seals always delight the visiting crowds.
Tromsø, and the stunning landscapes that surround it, are best viewed from the top of the Storsteinen Mountain, which stands 420 metres above sea level. Accessible via cable car, the peak is easy to reach and one of the most popular spots on the edge of the city.
Tuesday 15 November
Depending on your preference, Molde is the town of roses or jazz. Sitting alongside the Romsdalfjord, the town benefits from rich, fertile soil and a mild climate and the town’s gardens – both public and private – are full of flowers, especially roses. In the market square is a statue of the Little Rose Seller.
Every July, Molde hosts a famous jazz festival, which takes over the whole town, with many of the concerts being held in the Romsdal Museum. This is one of the biggest folk museums in Norway, with over fifty historic buildings including farmhouses, smokehouses and a small chapel. On Town Street are local town houses from the pre-war period. The Fisheries Museum is also in the open air, with old houses, fishermen’s shacks, a school and even a cod-liver oil factory.
Moldemarka – a vast recreational hiking area located just north of Molde city centre – is one of the most popular attractions with locals and visitors alike. Famous for the Molde panorama – a magnificent view of over 222 mountains, lush green hills and the North Atlantic Ocean – Moldemarka has a network of easily accessible paths and is easy to climb, hike and ski all year round.
16 - 17 November
Enjoy 2 days of cruising.
Friday 18 November
Arrival at Dover, United Kingdom
After an early breakfast, disembark the ship for your journey home.
Balmoral Ship Information
Balmoral is the largest of Fred Olsen’s cruise ships, on board there are nine decks two of which are for the sole purpose of leisure and relaxation.
The ship’s facilities include swimming pools & Jacuzzis, Fitness centre, Sundeck & golf nets, Atlantic Spa & Salon, library and card room. There are also boutiques, fine jewellery and Port shop. A selection of soft drinks, wines and beers are included and provided by a wide range of restaurants, cafés, grill and lounges on board.
During the day several talks, lectures and classes take place, while in the evening fantastic live performances including cabaret, stand-up comedy and concerts will keep you entertained throughout the duration of your cruise.
All of the 710 rooms are equipped with private facilities which include an en-suite shower (some may have a bathtub also), a desk, telephone, interactive television, hairdryer, air conditioning and tea and coffee making facilities. According to your needs you can choose between different room types: single, interior, ocean view, balcony rooms and suites.
|Date||Arrival||Departure||Port of Call|
|Fri 04 Nov 2022||Late PM||Dover, United Kingdom|
|Sat 05 Nov 2022||Cruising|
|Sun 06 Nov 2022||Cruising|
|Mon 07 Nov 2022||Late AM||Late PM||Ålesund, Norway|
|Tue 08 Nov 2022||Cruising|
|Wed 09 Nov 2022||Early AM||Late PM||Narvik, Norway|
|10 – 11 Nov 2022||Late AM||Late PM||Alta, Norway|
|12 – 13 Nov 2022||Early AM||Late PM||Tromsø, Norway|
|Tue 15 Nov 2022||Early Am||Late PM||Molde, Norway|
|Wed 16 Nov 2022||Cruising|
|Thu 17 Nov 2022||Cruising|
|Fri 18 Nov 2022||Early AM||Dover, United Kingdom|